Development

Restless – Making A New Conversation UI

A new User Interface, with its own layout and art, can help attract players and convey information and character in a way that’s unique to your game. I want to talk about our experience with Restless – a small(ish) game where you haunt a house and try to make peace with its inhabitants. I hope this post can be a useful tool for others looking to make their own UI, especially in text-heavy games, or those where the bulk of the game is in its interface.

read more

What do you mean by ‘Narrative Design’?

Fellow narrative designer (and all around great guy) Rob Morgan sometimes introduces himself in talks as ‘a narrative designer, whatever that is’, and it’s always stuck with me. I cannot help but appreciate the sentiment, having witnessed the term ‘narrative designer’ used to describe a variety of roles and jobs in talks, job descriptions, and in normal conversation with colleagues. I don’t believe any of those different uses of the term were wrong or less significant than any other, but I do think they can be distinct, sometimes covered by different people on a team or requiring different skills.

In the interest of thinking about this a bit deeper and preventing the title from meaning so many things that it functionally means very little, here are the three main kinds of narrative design I have come across. This list is almost certainly not exhaustive, but I hope it acts as a good starting point for discussion, and inspires you to examine your own thoughts on the subject.

read more

Tea-Powered Games’ 2017 Wrap-up

It’s been a busy year for the two of us at Tea-Powered Games! We’ve been reflecting a bit on our work this year, and we thought we would share some of that with you.

 

Dialogue: A Writer’s Story

The year started with Dialogue on Itch, and on Greenlight going through the voting process (remember the days of Greenlight?)

We spent some time improving Dialogue, especially the User Interface art, creating a new trailer and reaching out to our market. We worked with Lewis Denby from Game If You Are; he was a big help in putting all of it together!

And so, we got Greenlit and subsequently released Dialogue on Steam! We’re happy it’s finally there, and we needed a bit of a change in pace, so we’ve also been working on…

read more

Elemental Flow – Communicating as Developers

It’s time for something a little bit more personal than usual – we don’t talk as much as we should about our development process. The two of us at Tea-Powered Games have a tendency to avoid spoilers of every kind, for any forms of media, if we’re in the middle of experiencing it or we think we’ll get around to it in the near future. Discussing the media we love with others is valuable and enjoyable, but we like to come to that discussion uncoloured by others’ opinions when we can (except between the two of us, but we’re married and working together so that’s bound to happen).

read more

Elemental Flow – Getting Ready for Adventure X

Hello everyone! We’ve been pretty busy in the last month or so – Dialogue launched on Steam and Flo released two free games: The Felidae Phylogenetic Tree, an interactive exploration of feline species, and The Dream Self, an entry to the 2017 Interactive Fiction Competition.

Now that all those are out in the world, we’ve been focusing on Elemental Flow’s new demo, which we’ll be showing at Adventure X. We learned a lot from watching people play the previous demo, so we’re taking everything we learned there (and adding a few other ideas) to make this new version. We’ve outlined a few of the larger changes we’re making, but do note that these might not all make it to the final game – they’re steps towards a better version of Elemental Flow!

read more

Conversation, Games, and You!

Here at Tea-Powered Games we talk about dialogue quite often, but what is it that good dialogue could add to your game?

In the case where you use dialogue to add new kinds of play to your game, it gives players a change of pace, a new mechanic to play with, or different kinds of goals. If you tie dialogue to your game’s current mechanics, fans of those mechanics will get to interact with them more, and experience more interesting variations. More importantly, entirely new stories and games become possible when you start thinking about conversation as a part of the game rather than just more words on screen.

It sounds great, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, figuring out what kind of dialogue your game needs is not very straightforward.

read more

Dialogue V1.1 on Greenlight

Firstly, a bit of news: We’ve re-launched Dialogue on Steam Greenlight. We’ve had a positive response to the game from many people, but we thought we could do a better job of giving this unique take on conversations its best chance. After pulling together feedback from a variety of sources, we’re happy to present a new version of Dialogue, with a complete visual overhaul of the user interface.

read more

Success and Failure in Games: The Dialogue Approach

In response to our Accessibility post, we received a comment about the lack of failure in Dialogue, and how that affected the game. This is something we thought about while designing Dialogue, and it seemed important enough to share these thoughts. The comment is found in the Accessibility post, but here is the part we’re responding to.

read more